Burma reform: Desperate lives yet to see change
18 November 2012 Last updated at 22:40 GMT
On Monday, President Barack Obama will be the first serving American president to visit Burma, which has been praised in the West for reforms over the past year.
Answering critics who have highlighted continued human rights abuses in Burma, Mr Obama said the country was moving in "a better direction".
But in the northwest of the country violence between Buddhists and Muslims has overshadowed the political process, and tens of thousands of people have been displaced.
Fergal Keane reports from Rakhine state.